Friday, 4 August 2017

St Swithin has a lot to answer for

The Safari has been out and about looking for wildlife but we haven't had many opportunities to take any pics. Mostly we've been participating in this year's National Whale and Dolphin Watch but the weather his been a severe hindrance. Spotting blubber when the waves are crashing in pushed by a strong sou'westerly, not to mention the horrendously heavy rain showers all down to St Swithin and his very wobbly Jet Stream this summer. The week got off to a rocky start when just before our first watch a juvenile Harbour Porpoise had to be rescued off the beach to the south of us. Fortunately we haven't heard anything more of it so it would seem there was a positive outcome. But that's about as close as we've got to seeing cetaceans although a couple of Grey Seals have been spotted on our watches.
The south westerly winds are usually good for seabirds along our coast but it seems they've all got stuck off the far west of Cornwall! All we have to show for our many hours of peering down the scope out to sea is a few Gannets a handful of Manx Shearwaters and small numbers of Sandwich Terns passing by...The biggy must be coming on the next watch - Certainly hope so...and if the 'biggy' is a diminutive Storm Petrel we'll be well happy!
Early morning and ready to go - before the crowds turned up
A Peregrine (P2 #56) gave a good show right over our heads as we were finishing one of the watches.
In other news we've tried to count as many butterflies as possible for the Big Butterfly Count and hope you have too. We haven't seen many mostly due to being in the best places too early in the morning or too late in the evening while out with Monty. During the day we've been sat out our desk or stood on the Prom both butterfly-free zones. The work's garden has been a bit too exposed to the wind so we've only seen a couple of Small Whites there. All a bit annoyingly disappointing. 
However while doing a bit of weeding in the new garden we had to cut the work short when we came across these beauties. Small Tortoiseshell caterpillars enjoying a bit of sunshine on their Nettle leaf.
Back over on Patch 1 excitement has been provided by the first Kestrel (P1 #40) of the drifting over the school field while out with Monty on his pre-breakfast walk and then later that evening a small flock of House Martins (P1 #41) bombing up and down the end of our street, but sadly not coming close enough to get themselves on the Garden list too.
This evening we're helping out at a moth and bat night and lo and behold we found a Silver Y hiding on the washing line, the first macro-moth in the garden this year we've not had the chance to any trapping so far all we've seen a few micros and those have mostly been Light Brown Apple Moths.
Where to next? We'll let you know how we get on with the moths and the last of the National Whale and Dolphin Watches for this year. 
In the meantime let us know who's hiding extremely well in your outback

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